Fresh to Death

Subversive urban art at Diaspora

THUR 8/11

So you sit down one morning for a bowl of cereal and notice the Rice Krispies elves have turned wanksta and are sporting iced-out chains and shiny gold-toothed grins. Is corporate America swapping its brogans for Timberlands? "There is a definite assimilation," observes artist/curator Rodney Jackson, who has assembled a crew of Miami-based artists for an exhibit exploring the fusion of pop and urban culture. "Many of the early soldiers of hip-hop have infiltrated the corporate structure. The graffiti artists of the Seventies, Eighties, and Nineties are now art directors in the big design firms. It was inevitable that corporations would begin speaking in the language of those they market to," Jackson says.

His off-the-hook show, "That's What's Poppin'! Contemporary Pop & Sequential Art," opens at 6:00 tonight at Diaspora Vibe Gallery (3938 N. Miami Ave., Miami) and features a mix of consumer icon and hip-hopinfluenced work brimming with funk. Portraits of rap legends, sneakers laced with corporate logos, photos of graffiti rats tagging walls, and gritty comic-book art will deliver the hood to the gallery and show Madison Avenue how real street cred is earned. Admission is free. Call 305-573-4606, or visit --Carlos Suarez de Jesus

Melting Canvas

In need of a cool breeze

SAT 8/13

With the nation suffering from weather steamier than a plumber's crack, relief may be on the way for one of Miami's favorite alternative art haunts. "It can get pretty stifling," pants gallery owner Brook Dorsch, who's looking to cool down his sweltering space with the public's support. "I'm trying to accelerate the process and make people comfortable in the gallery." Tonight from 7:00 to midnight, the Dorsch Gallery (151 NW 24th St., Miami) is hoping to raise funds to install air conditioning during "Blowhard," a simmering summer bash promising icy refreshments, torrid entertainment, door prizes, and raffles. The community-oriented venue has hosted the Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Festival, the Dixie Dingo Film Festival, and numerous Tigertail Productions events through the years. Art lovers are welcome to party in beachwear for a hot cause. Don't forget the loose change, cash, and checkbooks. Call 305-576-1278, or visit --Carlos Suarez de Jesus

Creative Doldrums, Begone!

Inspiring new work at Artformz

THUR 8/11

If you live in Miami and dedicate the second Thursday of each month to wine, cheese, and the pursuit of artistic understanding, chances are you can be found walking around the Design District. And if you fancy the idea of actively consuming art (not to be confused with cheese and wine) rather than merely affecting looks of educated interest, you might be seeking an alternative to the alternative. Tonight at 7:00 "Scratching the Surface," a show of five artists at Artformz (130 NE 40th St., #2, Miami), will offer art that's challenging and creative. "We select work that encourages discussion," explains gallery owner Alette Simmons-Jimenez. Admission is free. Call 305-572-0040, or visit --Emily Witt

Raiders of the Lost Art

SAT 8/13

Five thousand years of global art is a daunting prospect, especially on a weekend. To ease your passage through this avalanche of artwork, the Lowe Art Museum (1501 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables) offers Art Adventures, one-hour tours of "Go Figure!" a selection from the permanent collection. Tours begin at 2:00 p.m. and are free with your five-dollar admission. Call 305-284-3535, or visit -- Emily Witt


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